In Conversation With: Noah06 February 2019
In Conversation With: Noah
Can you tell us how you started Splashbox with Co-founder Danny?
It’s an interesting story. Danny approached me with an idea to revolutionise the learning market for students. The initial plan was to build an online education system that would teach high school educational modules in an engaging way. I studied maths at university and was heavily involved in teaching, so it seemed like a perfect fit.
We worked on the business for six months with our third business partner who was a developer. However, not long after we started our third business partner got headhunted by Microsoft (and still works for them today). Initially, this was a roadblock for us because the custom built software relied on the developer, so we looked at ways to change direction. We identified ecommerce was a young industry that was going to take off, yet there wasn’t a professional service for custom built websites that considered business principles and objectives.
We saw a gap in the market to take a clients service offering and present it to customers in a compelling way. Then, of course, there is no point having a great website if no one can find you. So, we integrated online marketing and enabled brands to get on the digital map. This played to my maths and analytical skills, and I spent years educating myself and building up knowledge on both sides of the business to offer a remarkable service to our clients.
Given the huge proliferation of technology and online marketing, how has Splashbox evolved since you first started?
There is no denying the online landscape has changed dramatically over the last 12 years. When we started there wasn’t one system that was cloud based, which seems crazy in retrospect.
In some ways things are easier now, we have incredible tools and analytics systems to give us greater insight, however it’s important to strike a balance between better technology and human instinct. Although new technology and automation can be attractive, you often lose gut instinct and human touch and feel. While we use technology on a daily basis at Splashbox, we rely on smart, strategic thinking and always choose the right tools for the right reasons.
What’s been your greatest highlight working at Splashbox?
Some time ago we were faced with a project that (at the time) would have been Splashbox’s biggest digital marketing project. We knew the competition was tough and there were lots of complex parameters to consider.
After running the data and analysis, I proactively got in touch and told the prospective client that we believe what they wanted was unachievable and if anyone told them otherwise, they were wrong. It was a bold move but we didn’t want to put our name on the line for something that couldn’t be achieved.
They respected our advice but chose to go with a number of other agencies. After no success, six months later they came back to us and they’ve been our client ever since. Today, that’s common practice at Splashbox, but at the time making the decision to tell them was a risk for the agency. The validation we did the right thing was fantastic and it’s a principle we live by every day.
What’s the biggest challenge that marketers need to overcome today?
Cut out the noise. One of the biggest challenges is deciding where to invest your energy. More often than not there are 100 things you can do for a business, but the real challenge is working out what is going to have a meaningful impact and achieve business objectives.
What is your favourite digital marketing tool?
Google Analytics is the clear winner.
I’m in there everyday, whether I want to be or not!
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
“Whatever you do, you’ve got to be yourself”.
Undoubtedly there are times in your career when you have to wear many different hats. Whether it’s approaching a client, managing a team or working with senior management, it can mean a major shift in attitude.
There are times when you need to be more compassionate with a colleague or more decisive with a client. Often, the challenge is finding a balance between doing your job effectively and staying true to yourself and your beliefs. It’s something I continually work on.